Home > Best Prebuilt PCs
Last Updated: June 5, 2020
If when hearing about building PCs there's a voice in the back of your head screaming "ain't nobody got time for dat", prebuilt PCs might just be the more fun option for you as a gamer or artist/creator. Here at BGC we've been covering and teaching how to build gaming computers for years, and it's something we can recommend to anybody as it's not too difficult (especially if you keep your build simple and avoid complex parts). But we're not blind to the fact that building your own PC isn't for everybody, and that many more "mainstream" gamers/tech lovers do indeed buy prebuilt PCs quite often.
The convenience of already having a fully pre-assembled and 100% ready-to-go rig is alluring to some, and a convenience they're often willing to pay more for (compared to building your own, which gives you plenty of opportunities to save money). Perhaps you have no interest in learning about building a PC, or you are just really strapped for time and just want a computer ASAP without having to spend the extra time required to plan and build one yourself. Whatever your reason for deciding to buy a gaming PC instead of build one, there's nothing wrong with that. While building your own PC has advantages, not everyone needs to (nor should) build their own system.
Prebuilt PCs get a bad wrap across the board within the tech/hardware industry, but sometimes it's for good reason as there are plenty of "bad buys" out there when it comes to prebuilt desktops.
If you gain basic understanding of PCs, it's easy to look beyond the marketing of many prebuilts to see a fairly significant majority of prebuilt PCs commonly including lower-cost, lower-tier parts, such as cheap, unreliable, timebomb-ticking PSUs.
Or bad airflow and overheating/noise issues due to insufficient cooling. Or a whole heap of other potential sacrifices that manufacturers make to keep their costs as low as possible when mass-producing prebuilts.
But it's not just sacrificing the quality or reliability of certain components of a build - prebuilts are also quite overpriced overall. There's always the occasional exception, but in most situations, building your own PC does give you more for your money overall.
But the good news is, even though building your own PC will almost-always still be the best way to get the fastest gaming performance and overall component quality for your money, there are indeed plenty of prebuilts out there that are pretty respectable overall in terms of price vs performance and other things like quality/reliability.
If you know what to look for, that is, because shopping for a good, reliable, trusthworthy prebuilt PC can get real confusing real fast, with one reason being the often lack of clearly-stated, full exact specs of ALL the parts used in the system (which can eventually be found by doing some digging, but is often not even listed on official product listings (which has partly to do with marketing as some companies don't seem to really want you to always know exactly what's in their builds; not cool IMO but whatever).
Read on and we'll break down our current recommendations of the best prebuilt PCs for the money for gamers, based on carefully analyzing the current market as of 2020 and comparing as many different models and makes as possible, as well as taking into account curring pricing.
After days of endless research, prebuilt comparisons, benchmark analysis, reading of both professional and customer reviews (there's a huge difference), investigation of newcomer brands to the scene, and so on - the below PCs get our recommendation as best overall value for their respective category.
If you're looking for a good value prebuilt PC for gaming in the US, but are worried about buying a lemon that could trouble over the long-run or or are perhaps confused as to which brands are the most reputable right now based on objectively studying and comparing the experiences of owners of different PC brands, the following prebuilt PCs that we recommend below are safe bets (IMHO) based on extensive research.
Each system was chosen over other competing machines for specific reasons, some of which we'll explain later in this guide. Lastly before we get into the recommended prebuilts - don't just take our word for it and always remember to do your own research into which gaming PC is right for you. Which gaming PC you should buy depends on various different factors, as every PC user has slightly unique needs based on their gaming habits and/or workflow when using the PC for other things than gaming.
We've broken up our prebuilt gaming PC recommendations into 3 different categories:
The Best Refurbished Gaming PCs (pre-owned but professionally tested)
The Best Custom Gaming PC Builds (build your own)
Swipe to Scroll:
|Type||Budget||Our Pick||Graphics||CPU||RAM||Motherboard||Storage||Power Supply||Extra Features|
|Under $600 (Old Games / Low Res)||
|AMD Vega 8 (CPU Integrated)||Ryzen 3 3200G (3rd Gen)||8GB DDR4 2666MHz (2x4GB)||Unspecified||256GB SSD (M.2 PCIe)||Unspecified||Windows 10 Pro, WiFi, DVD Drive, Keyboard, Mouse, Mousemat|
|Under $800 (Good 1080p)||
Lenovo Legion T530-28APR
|AMD Radeon RX 570 4GB||AMD Ryzen 5 2600X (2nd Gen)||8GB DDR4 2666MHz (1x8GB - Add a 2nd 8GB Stick in Future)||AMD B450 (Unspecified)||256GB SSD (M.2 PCIe) + 1TB HDD (7200 RPM)||500 Watt Energy Star||Windows 10 Home, WiFi, DVD Drive|
|Under $1000 (1080p 60FPS Ultra)||
Skytech Blaze II
|NVidia GeForce GTX 1660 6GB
NVidia GeForce GTX 1660 Ti 6GB
|Intel Core i5 9400F (9th Gen)
AMD Ryzen 5 2600 (2nd Gen)
|8GB DDR4 3000MHz (1x8GB)||Intel B365M (Micro ATX)
AMD A320M (Micro ATX)
|500GB SSD||500 Watt 80 Plus (Unspecified)||Windows 10 Home, WiFi, Keyboard, Mouse|
|Under $1000 (Good 1080p 144Hz)||
iBuyPower Element 9260
|NVidia GeForce GTX 1660 Ti 6GB||Intel Core i7 9700F (9th Gen)||16GB DDR4 2666MHz (2x8GB)||Intel B365M (Micro ATX)||240GB SSD + 1TB HDD||500 Watt 80 Plus (Unspecified)||Windows 10 Home, WiFi, Keyboard, Mouse (RGB)||H
|Under $1200 (1440p 60FPS)||
|NVidia GeForce GTX 1660 Super 6GB||AMD Ryzen 5 3600 (3rd Gen)||16GB DDR4 3000MHz||AMD B450||500GB SSD||500 Watt 80 Plus||Windows 10 Home, WiFi, Keyboard, Mouse|
|Under $1500 (Best 1440p or Budget 4K)||
(better for streaming / multitasking)
|NVidia RTX 2070 8GB
NVidia RTX 2070 Super 8GB
|AMD Ryzen 5 3600 (3rd Gen, 6 Core)
AMD Ryzen 7 2700X (2nd Gen, 8 Core)
|16GB DDR4 3000MHz
16GB DDR4 3000MHz (2x8GB)
|AMD B450 (Micro ATX)||500GB SSD
|500 Watt (80 Plus Certified)
650 Watt (Gold Certified)
|Windows 10 Home, WiFi, Keyboard, Mouse|
|Under $2000 (Extreme)||
HP OMEN Obelisk 875-1010
Thermaltake LCGS L20 AVT-02 (Best Quality)
|NVidia GeForce RTX 2080 8GB
Gigabyte GeForce RTX 2060 Super 8GB WindForce OC
|i7 9700K (9th Gen) + Liquid Cooler
AMD Ryzen 5 3600X (3rd Gen) + Liquid Cooler
|16GB DDR4 2666MHz (1x16GB)
G.Skill TridentZ 16GB DDR4 3200MHz (2x8GB)
|Intel Z390 (Micro ATX, 4x RAM Slots, 3x M.2 Slots, See All Specs)
AsRock X570 Pro 4 (Micro ATX)
|512GB SSD (NVMe PCIe M.2)
1TB SSD (NVMe PCIe M.2)
|750 Watt (80 Plus Platinum)
Thermaltake Toughpower DPS G 650 Watt Digital (80+ Gold)
|Windows 10 Home, WiFi, Keyboard, Mouse
Windows 10 Pro, WiFi
|Under $3000 (Savage)||
|NVidia RTX 2080 Ti 11GB||i9 9900KF + 240mm Liquid Cooler||G.Skill TridendZ 16GB DDR4 3200MHz RGB||Gigabyte Z390 Aorus Master (ATX)||Samsung 970 EVO Plus 1TB SSD (M.2 PCIe NVMe)||750 Watt Unspecified (80+ Gold)||Windows 10 Home, WiFi, Keyboard, Mouse|
|Mini Under $1000||
CUK Continuum (No OS Included, Must Buy Win 10)
|AMD Radeon Vega 8 (integrated)||AMD Ryzen 3 3200G (3rd Gen)||16GB DDR4 3000MHz (2x 8GB)||B360 Micro ATX||512GB NVMe SSD||500 Watt (Unspecified)||Windows 10 Home, WiFi, Keyboard, Mouse|
|Mini Under $2000||
|NVidia RTX 2070 8GB||Intel Core i7 9700KF + Liquid Cooler||32GB DDR4 2666Mhz (2x 8GB)||Intel B365 (Unspecified)||512 NVMe M.2 SSD + 1TB HDD||650 Watt (Gold Certified)||Windows 10 Home, WiFi, Keyboard, Mouse|
|Mini Under $2500||
CUK MSI Trident X Plus
|NVidia GeForce RTX 2080 Super 8GB||Intel Core i7 9900KF (9th Gen)||32GB DDR4 2666MHz (2x16GB)||Intel Z390 (Unspecified. See All Specs Here)||1TB SSD (M.2 PCIe NVMe) + 2TB HDD (5400 RPM)||Unspecified||Windows 10 Home, WiFi, Keyboard, Mouse|
|Mini Under $3000||
Asus ROG Huracan G21
|NVidia GeForce RTX 2080 8GB||Intel Core i9 9900K (9th Gen)||32GB DDR4 2666Mhz (2x 16GB)||Intel Z390 (Unspecified. See All Specs Here))||1TB SSD (M.2 PCIe NVMe)||700 Watt (Unspecified)||Windows 10 Pro, WiFi, DVD Drive, ROG Strix Flare Keyboard, ROG Gladius II Mouse|
|NVidia RTX 2080 Ti 11GB (Liquid Cooled)||Intel Core i9 9900K (9th Gen) + Liquid Cooler||32GB DDR4 3200MHz||Z390I (Mini ITX)||2TB SSD (NVMe)+ 2TB 5400 RPM HDD||650 Watt (80 Plus Gold)||Windows 10 Home, WiFi, Keyboard, Mouse|
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There are various specs to consider when on the hunt for the best prebuilt gaming PCs, but here's a quick overview of what to look for in a nutshell: (and see the FAQ below for more tips)
Prebuilt computers aren't all horrible piles of steaming scrap metal that increase the odds of setting your house on fire tenfold, though such atrocities do exist so you must do your research if you want to choose a good prebuilt PC (and especially so as a gamer as you'll be taxing your system more than the average PC user). So while we do recommend building a computer yourself if you can muster up a little patience, courage, and set aside a day (or two) to assemble your first PC nice and slowly, maybe you have no interest in learning to do so, or perhaps you're strapped for time and don't mind paying the extra money for a convenient pre-assembled PC you can simply unbox, turn on, and start gaming with immediately.
Whatever your reasoning, if you understand that buying a prebuilt gaming PC will typically cost more money for the same (or worse) specs and gaming performance compared to choosing individual parts yourself, with a little careful shopping to avoid a straight-up dud droid of a desktop you can find a good one that will have you gaming in style and that won't let you down (well, hopefully not).
As with most tech purchases, you gotta stay on your toes when choosing a gaming computer to buy as it's easy to get sucked into hype and marketing and fall prey to fancy-looking machines that may say all the rights things in product listings, but that on more close inspection with a trained eye may reveal themselves as being made up of a bunch of low-quality, unreliable components bought from the back of a Jawa Sandcrawler for dirt cheap.
But living with less than the very best (in terms of component quality, performance and reliability) is a sacrifice you often must make with many prebuilt gaming PCs, especially when on a budget (though high-end prebuilt PCs can often also have average parts).
See Also: The Best Gaming Monitors
Well, let's put it this way. The far majority of prebuilt computers on the market can be built for either less or the same price with better-quality and/or faster components if you do it yourself - especially as gamers looking for maximum frame rates for the money.
However, that's not to say that there are no good prebuilt PCs out there, as if you know what to look for and shop carefully you can find decent prebuilt PCs for gaming that won't break the bank. Besides, not everyone has the patience or interest to assemble a computer from scratch, no matter how straightforward it is to do these days if you just take your time with it, and some people are willing to pay extra for the convenience and time saved by buying a pre-assembled PC.
So to answer the question, prebuilt PCs aren't always that bad, and not every single one out there is a horrible buy as a gamer - to think in that black and white way is to adopt the mindset of the dark side (only a Sith deals in absolutes). Building your own PC is better than buying a prebuilt 9 times out of 10 if you want the most for your money, but a good prebuilt computer such as the ones we carefully hand-picked and recommend above is the next best thing (and again, is more convenient for those who are perhaps super-busy).
Some prebuilt gaming PCs, even if they are indeed marketed to gamers, will be lacking in the graphics card department for its going price. For example, if you buy a $1000 prebuilt gaming PC (USD), and it only has a budget entry-level gaming graphics card like a GTX 1650 or RX 570 (which are cards you can easily find in much cheaper prebuilt PCs), then you're overpaying as a gamer. Same thing happens in the high-end gaming desktop market too, where you could find a tower that has a great high-end CPU like an i7 or i9 but is severely unbalanced when it comes to the graphics card as it might have a GTX 1660 Ti or RTX 2060 that would bottleneck your gaming performance.
To know which sort of graphics card you should look for when buying a prebuilt desktop, a good way is to compare the graphics card you could get for that same budget if you were to assemble your own custom gaming PC build yourself (in that guide you can get an idea of what makes a good graphics card for any given price). But of course you must also take into account the fact that buying a prebuilt gaming PC will typically cost more than building your own system, so you'll usually have to settle for a less powerful graphics card that's a tier under what you could get with your own custom PC build.
Choosing the best prebuilt gaming PC for your needs is more about comparing specific models themselves, and not solely about comparing brand names. Though it must be said, there definitely are certain brands out there to avoid in general (and that we would never recommend on this site as we try to provide the best quality recommendations). Some computer companies have continually provided consistently good-quality, reliable prebuilt gaming PCs, with the good customer service to back it up and bring about returning customers, and have generated enough goodwill and enough of a track record over recent history with their systems that they option a safe choice.
Some of the best, leading prebuilt PC brands as of 2020 in my opinion are HP, Asus, Acer, MSI, and Alienware (Dell). These gaming computer brands are generally safe bets for high-quality gaming PCs, however be aware that's NOT to say that ALL their models are worth buying. That's far from the truth, as many prebuilt PCs from the top brands will be overpriced (and some very overpriced). You still have to have your research hat on and research the specific model/s you're considering, as we do with our recommendations in this guide.
Also, it's not just these companies that offer good prebuilts. There are plenty of companies out there, so if they bring a worthy build to the table vs the current competition from the bigger names, then so be it, we may sniff it out for our next update and be included in our recommendations. I'm talking slightly lesser-known yet still super popular names in the PC space like CyberPowerPC and Skytech just to name a couple, the latter of which has made a fair few of our current top prebuilt PC picks.
I have to say, SkyTech currently have what seems to be (from my perspective) some of the current top bang for buck prebuilt gaming PCs out there right now, and importantly without too many of the sacrifices you might have to make when buying a prebuilt. Oon the quality aspect of things, most of their parts are actually pretty good. Though they still do use some lower-quality components in certain builds they do, so always do your research.
From my research into their systems they seem a decent option compared to the current competition, though I can't comment on how good or bad their support system and customer service is. But digging into the specs used in their builds, their build process, comparing vs the competition, etc, I can comfortably recommend them if you want the fastest-performing prebuilt PC that also looks cool (all SkyTech computers come with ready-to-go RGB lighting - and in some builds a ton of it).
Like some other guides on the site we'll update our recommendations of the current best prebuilt PCs for the money every few months or whenever we feel it needed a fresh look over and update. If you find a better buy for any particular category that you think we missed, feel free to let us know in the comments below and we'll look into it as it'll help us keep this guide as helpful as possible for others trying to wade through the confusing gaming desktop market.
Though just remember that the best prebuilt gaming PCs we select are chosen on a variety of different factors, and not just solely on which computer has the fastest gaming performance for its price (though that is indeed a primary factor). Other things are important such as the specific specs and brands of all internal components, the overall reliability and trustworthiness/track-record of the manufacturer, the warranty, other features included for the price, and so on.
Hope this guide helped in your research, and good luck with your new setup. Need further help?
For Simple Questions
If you need further help choosing the optimal bang-for-buck parts-list for your specific requirements, feel free to post a question in our main comments section (on our Latest Gaming PC Builds page). We'll respond to you ASAP and do our best to help steer you in the right direction.
For Detailed Help (Premium Email Support)
To have ongoing access to our exclusive support email (reserved for customers only), check out the "Master" or "VIP" editions of our book (The Gaming Build Blueprint Manual). These editions come with included long-term support which may just come in real handy if you're building your first PC but are still a bit worried or intimidated.
You'll have the peace of mind to be able to ask us directly for help at any stage of your build. Our book is also the best way to directly support our work here at BGC, with profits often re-invested back into creating more and better content, including being able to buy more hardware and equipment for testing and so on.